The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has called on the new Government to significantly increase the public capital programme to begin to fast-track essential transport, water and flood defence projects that have stalled.
Noting that capital investment has been "ravaged by the recession", Tom Parlon, CIF director general, says that such projects "are essential to economic growth and job creation in the regions and nationally".
“ We hope to set out with Government a strategy outlining how our civil engineering, contractors and house-building members can contribute to addressing Ireland’s infrastructure deficit in an ambitious programme,” he said.
An analsys carried out by the Construction Information Services into the top 100 infrastructure projects in the transport, water treatment and flood defences found that on average, these projects have been delayed for three-four years. The projects range from national infrastructure like Dublin Airport to waterworks and roadwork improvements. Other projects analysed include flood defences for towns along the Shannon.
Warning that without “a concomitant increase in capital investment in infrastructure” the government’s plan to increase housing supply up to 25,000 houses each year by 2020 risks creating “unsustainable ghost communities in the regions”.
“Unfortunately, reallocating investment from capital projects like national roads, rail and air transport, to housing related infrastructure will only exacerbate this issue,” Mr Parlon said.
The CIF has been calling on the Government to increase its investment in infrastructure to 6-8 per cent of GDP. Ireland is currently second last in the EU for infrastructure spen, investing only 2 per cent of GDP.